Goodbye Education, Hello Retirement says Dr. Joan Holmes!

 For more than 30 years Dr. Joan Holmes has been educating people across the country.  But of course, she got it honestly.  Her father, also an educator, administrator and coach at the high school level, Joan literally followed in her father’s footsteps and became an educator, administrator and coach, but at the collegiate level.  Because she did synchronized swimming as a youngster, Joan was hired to teach synchronized swimming at Spelman College and from there began to teach volleyball where success was just the norm for her.  From Spelman College to Kennesaw College, Joan followed the money and took a faculty position.  Eager for more, she went back to school at Ball State in Muncie Indiana to get her doctorate and at 38 years old her friends started calling her Doctor Holmes.dr joan holmes

  She married NFL great, Melvin Holmes, (OT) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and from that union are two beautiful and productive children.  Their son is Director of Scouting for the Los Angeles Rams and their daughter is Director of Engineering with FAA in Alexandria VA. 

 After the NFL, they moved to Tampa, bought a couple of Burger Kings and an opportunity at USF opened up for Joan to become a coordinator and soon after, Asst. Dean of Graduate Schools.  Her responsibility included all diversity, recruitment and enrollment for the graduate school.  For 23 years, she ran the graduate school with a tight fist.  Her stern approach helped to seal a new deal at Hillsborough College as Special Assistant to the Dean.  She served two deans, Dean Stevenson, the first female dean of the school and then Dean Atwater, the first African American male to head the school.  Dr. Atwatter gave her full reigns to run the Black Brown College Bound program (BBCB) and with so many other things that she did well, she turned a local program into a national spotlight. 

   Black Brown College Bound has brought the best of the best to speak; Steve Harvey, John Legend and this year’s speaker, Michael Strahan.  Michael Strahan, retired from the NFL at the top of his game with over 90 sacks and a host of other mentionables.  With the success of BBCB, Dr Holmes has officially retired from Hillsborough Community College. Her new focus is her grand babies. 

   When you live life well, it shows up later as it has done for Dr. Joan Holmes, a professional in her own right and a retirement check to show for it.


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